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Re: CHAT: facing your own mortality (as a conlanger)

From:Tristan McLeay <conlang@...>
Date:Thursday, July 3, 2008, 3:41
li_sasxsek@NUTTER.NET wrote:

> I think digital versions have the potiential to live much longer > because they propogate easily. If I make a thousand copies of a > book, it's likely that in fifty years only a few will still be > around and they will probably be tattered and torn with brittle > pages that turn immediately to dust. Digital versions could be > duplicated instantly from person to person to person, ad > infinitum without any loss of quality. The only problems that > arise with digital forms are the periodic changes in types of > media. For example, I still have a container full of 5.25" > floppy disks in the original Apple II format. I keep them in > the hopes of someday retrieving the data. Nothing really > important, just a few cheesy programs that I wrote, and some of > my earliest conscripts but I'd like to get them back sometime. > Not too unlike the old reels of 8mm films that I'd like to have > transferred to DVD, then they could be easily copied and > distributed to the whole family.
Furthermore electronic media degrade over time --- quite possibly sooner than you thought. Try finding pages from five years ago on; you'll get most, but by no means all. A popular work is likely to spread further and wider while it's popular, on the Internet, but it's likely to be lost much quicker as people upgrade and don't take it with them. Today's unwanted electronic media is pretty much guaranteed to be lost tomorrow. Today's unwanted books can sit on a shelf for a hundred and fifty years and still be mostly readable, even if the pages fall apart in your hands and a few pages have been eaten. Also, electronic media is only going to be readable while computers are widely available. Who knows what's going to happen a hundred, a thousand year's time? Dark ages come and go. Print media is just so much more reliable, because you can see it right there in front of you! -- Tristan.


Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>